How to prepare for a job interview in English

So, you have all the skills and experience in your chosen sector but you are lacking the English skills or perhaps just the confidence to communicate effectively in an interview. Having helped various students successfully get through interviews in English, I've come up with some advice for you on how to prepare for that daunting job interview in English.

  • Research information on the type of job and role. It is a good idea to email your private teacher job descriptions as they may know little about your field of expertise.
  • Your teacher can then role-play interviews with you, asking you questions you both think will come up.
  • Brainstorm vocabulary in your classes specific to your job and role. It is worth spending some classes focusing just on vocabulary you'll need.
  • Practise pronunciation to help you communicate your points clearly. Record yourself speaking (this doesn't just have to be answering interview questions) and perhaps email the audios to your teacher.
  • Try to sort out any grammar issues, especially basic ones, as the interviewer may pick up on these.
  • Learn fillers when you don't know what to say so there are no awkward pauses eg. That's an interesting question.
  • Practise and memorize answers. You don't want your responses to sound too planned but this may give you confidence on the day.

Common interview questions to prepare:

What are your greatest strengths?

What is your greatest professional achievement?

Tell me about a time you made a mistake.

What do you like to do outside work?

Language for interviews

1. Use adverbs to express opinions and make your answers sound more natural eg. personally/naturally/fortunately.

For example:

Naturally, I am eager to develop professionally within your company.

Personally, I feel I can contribute greatly to...

Fortunately, I have gained a wealth of experience in...

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2. Use adjectives to describe your personality. eg. commited/proactive/ methodical and, of course, give an example to show this.

For example: I see myself as a methodical person. For instance, I like to prioritize my work well so that I can effectively meet deadlines.

3. Talk about your strengths, again giving examples to demonstrate them.

For example:

I'm good at working under pressure.

I have a track record of meeting deadlines.

My main strength is multitasking.

4. Describe your experience using the right verb tense.

For example: I studied at Deusto University in Bilbao. (past simple)

I've worked as a health and safety inspector for five years. (present prefect)

Encuentra tu profesor ideal

5. Talk about your future goals.

For example:

I'm looking to further my skills as a receptionist.

In five years' time I hope to hold a management position.

Lastly, don't foget that most communication is non-verbalthrough body language and the use of your voice, such as the tone you use. Vary your tone to sound more natural and interested in the conversation. This will give the interviewer a more positive impression of you and hopefully hide any nerves you are experiencing. Good luck!!

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